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【People’s Daily Online】Opportunities outweigh challenges for SMEs investment in BRI

Friday,May 11, 2018

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has engaged almost 70 countries and multilateral international organizations, creating a huge opportunity that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should also participate in, experts noted at a seminar in Beijing on Wednesday.

BRI is the largest-ever opening up and cross-border exchange and integration scheme. Therefore, it is essential for SMEs to seize the opportunity, said Sun Haizhao, former Chinese ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Central African Republic at the seminar held by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) on May 9.

However, investment in the initiative is largely from central and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and to certain extent, SMEs are not involved, observed Zhou Xiaojing, former director of the Asia-Africa Development Research Institute under the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Zhou also called on the importance of policy support, guidelines for investment, and construction of industrial parks and specialized rural financial institutions, as well as the promotion of coordination between SOEs and SMEs, through which SMEs could avoid non-economic risks and reinforce investment.

Besides policy support, SMEs should constantly improve themselves during the engagement with the initiative. Specifically, they should establish brand awareness and advance product quality and services. They could also integrate China’s internet thinking into their strategic development, according to Tang Haoxuan, chairmen of Fueta International Co., Ltd.

In addition, it is important for SMEs to increase expenditures in security and safeguard their safety and interests, said Ren Yuanzhe, director of the Consular Teaching and Research Office at China Foreign Affairs University, adding that SMEs should also respect religions and customs of host countries, and fulfill social responsibilities.

Scholars from Nepal and Australia also expressed their welcome for BRI. North Australia has huge potential, said Shahar Hameiri, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, adding that he hopes the Australian government would engage into the initiative and promote cooperation with China.

Similarly, enormous opportunities exist in Nepal, including infrastructure construction, agricultural and minerals exchange, and services. It is believed that Nepal and China could reach win-win results through BRI, said Sushil Lamsal, deputy chief of mission at the embassy of Nepal in China.

 

From People’s Daily Online,May 10, 2018

 

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